Hermione sat in her destroyed room, her sister cuddled into her body, crying her little eyes out. Hermione had no more tears left to cry, her face was emotionless to all but this little girl. It had been a few years since her father's death. A few years since her mother sank into a depression, resorting to opium as an escape. A few months since her new stepfather moved in. A few weeks since the real fighting started. A few weeks since she would see her mother with blossoming black bruises. A few days since he hit Hermione for getting in between them, a darkening purple bruise blossoming on her pale cheek. This wasn't the first time he tried hurting her. It happened often before her mother got married to the bastard, and stupid Eileen wouldn't believe her, the man's consistency and a little mistake married them off.
Hermione stroked the little girl's soft auburn curls, Persephone's large brown eyes sparkled in the dim room, and her tiny lips pointed down in a frown. She was too young, merely five, she didn't need to endure this pain. Persephone laid her head down on Hermione's chest as another slam was heard. Hermione flinched. Hopefully he had left. Hermione rocked little Persephone to sleep, laying her down on the torn sheets. She hoped those large brown eyes saw a more pleasant place in her dreams.
She didn't care where her mother was. Eileen Granger was probably passed out, drunk or high on the couch. As far as Hermione knew, her mother was dead and gone years ago, replaced by a shell who bent down to one man's every whim. Hermione shuffled through the dirty hallway to the restroom. She moved a tile over behind the sink, and picked up the hidden toiletries bag, full of money she had saved from her childhood. She closed the hole again, threw in anything she might need for a few days, and shuffled back to her room.
Hermione walked to the corner adjacent to her bed, moving away the large area rug, lifting a loose floorboard. From inside, she pulled out more wads of colorful muggle money. She stuffed the money into her toiletries bag; it was close to bursting, filled with almost three thousand pounds. The bag was messily tossed into her Hogwarts trunk, before she made her way to her mother's room. The room was littered with dirty clothes, spilt drugs, and lighters. She made her way to the little jewelry box on the dresser. Slowly opening the little box, she saw her most prized possessions; she picked up her father's silver medal of valor and put it to her lips. Slowly, she took her father's wedding ring and her grandmother's golden bracelets. She closed the box gracefully, trying not to make any abrupt noises. She pulled out the top drawer, pushing away unfolded socks and junk. On the bottom sat two neatly folded documents, her and Persephone's birth certificates.
Looking into the murky mirror, she held Anthony Granger's badge near her heart, next to her grandmother's necklace. There was no way she would leave without any of these little trinkets; they meant the world to her. Hermione closed her eyes in remembrance, swaying in the arms of her father during Christmas as songs played on the radio, her grandmother hugging her warmly, the old woman's bracelets jingling with every movement, falling asleep on his chest, proudly handing her little sister to her grandmother… the memories engulfed her as a lone tear escaped her eyelids. She had to leave, to save herself from insanity, and to save Persephone from this horrid life. Her mother wouldn't even notice their absence for months.
The sun peeked over the roofs of other houses; they had stayed awake all night. Hermione rubbed her tired eyes, trying to stay awake. She had to stay awake. She had to escape. Hermione dug her hands in her mother's purse, taking any money she found, which wasn't really much, a few bills here and there. She ran to Persephone's room, picking up her little schoolbag and stuffing clothes into it. She grabbed a few pairs of reliable shoes and pushed them into the side pockets. Shoving a picture album into the back, stuffing the bag till it was near-bursting.
Hermione threw the bag around her shoulders, grabbing Persephone's few prized possessions, a small butterfly necklace, a little plush dog, and an aged copy of Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. She delicately took these to her room, putting the bag and toy near her sister, pocketing the necklace.
She took her own trunk, filling in a few of Persephone's other clothes and her own, packing only the most precious books and albums. She stuffed in the toiletries bag and put their little treasures into an invisible pocket she asked Mrs. Weasley to make for her, when she heard the slam of the door again.
Hermione's eyes widened, what was he doing back? He never came back! Persephone stirred as Hermione latched the trunk and threw everything into the closet.
"What's going on Hermione?" Persephone asked, waking slightly.
Hermione shushed her. She was scared; she laid down on the bed, enclosing Persephone with her body. She heard the loud banging of his feet up the stairs. Why was he here?
All of a sudden the banging stopped. Hermione could hear her own breathing in the air. Hermione closed her eyes tightly, hoping.
Hermione prayed with all her heart. He had to have gotten the letter. She had only contacted him out of desperation. Harry and Ron couldn't see her like this. And he had joined the side of good… had he not? He knew her pride wouldn't let her contact him unless she really needed help.
Her door creaked open slowly, as a heavy figure shuffled towards her. All of a sudden, she was thrown against the wall, falling to the ground in a heap, pain overcoming her entire body. Persephone screamed. Her stepfather was back. Hermione reached her hand out for her wand, merely feet away, but he stepped on it, a crack resounding through the room as a part of Hermione's heart broke. There was no way she could stop him. But maybe she could protect Persephone for long enough.
The large man growled, he raised his hand to hit the little girl, Hermione sprinted over, running on adrenaline, and jumped on the man's back. Her legs kicked as her arms wrapped around his neck in an attempt to choke him. He flipped her over, hitting her against the bed. She fell off, opening her eyes to see his enraged ones. She raised her arms over her body, trying to protect herself in some way. Persephone had run to the corner of the room.
Her stepfather began beating her, Hermione felt each jab hitting her, her eyes swelled shut from the abuse. Her nose was broken and pouring blood. He was enraged. She was sure the pain would never end. She heard Persephone nearby, screaming, Hermione's bones cracked as blood poured from her wounds, her body black and blue. The pain wouldn't stop; it had felt like hours passed by. She didn't know how long it had been, she was becoming numb to the pain, the noises around her blurring into a low buzz. She was dropped onto the floor as he moved away from her to Persephone. She tried to push herself to his blurred image, she could hardly see anything. She head Persephone screaming, trying to get away from him. The lamp fell to the floor, shattering.
Her body collapsed in a heap, she couldn't move anymore, her body wouldn't listen to her screams. She was laid in odd angles and disfigured shapes, bloodied and bruised, she heard Persephone's screaming. What was happening? She could sort out flashes of light, and felt the floor shake as someone fell slammed into the ground. Persephone's screams got louder, piercing through the buzzing Hermione heard. She felt someone slowly mending her bones; the pain was horrible, burning her body. Was this magic? Or was this a dream? She felt her body scream in protest as someone scooped her up from the floor; she passed out from the sheer pain.
Hermione's ears began working first; she heard a light beeping noise and the shuffling of papers. She took a deep breath, her nose burned with on the smell of a heavily sterilized hospital. Her eyes opened to see white.
Covering the walls, the ceiling, her bed, even her body.
Her eyes were blurred. She couldn't see anything. Her body was shaking. Where was she? Where was Persephone?
A warm hand was stroking her cheek. She tried moving, but it hurt so much. Her whole body ached. An airy, warm voice spoke to her, "Don't worry, dear. You're safe, Hermione. The healers are just bandaging you up."
"Per...Phone," her voice cracked painfully. She still didn't know who it was next to her, her vision was so blurred. Why couldn't she see?
"Shh," the voice whispered, "She's fine, go back to sleep." Hermione's eyelids fluttered to a close, sending her back into the world of dreams.
Outside her mind, many were talking in hushed whispers. A small crowd gathered in the middle of the hospital family room. A little girl was lying on a blonde's lap, trying to go to sleep. Persephone hadn't trusted anyone since they left Hermione's home, other than the man with the pretty face and short Barbie hair. He had spent a whole three hours with her after she drank her medicine, promising not to leave her side. They had been there for two days already. Persephone had been in the hospital for a day and a half, and they were waiting for Hermione to wake.
Persephone nodded off to sleep as the dear woman with fiery hair approached him. He regretted not arriving the moment he got the letter. Why did that owl take so damn long? He could have prevented this. He looked down at the little girl's sleeping form.
The redhead put a hand on his shoulder, squeezing it gently. "It's ok love, there was nothing more you could have done…" the woman pursed her lips, "she'll get better."
"I hope so Molly. This little one needs her." He said while stroking Persephone's hair.
Hermione's eyes opened hours later. She winced. It did hurt a lot. She glanced towards the chair next to her bed, only to see two people asleep. A little Persephone had cuddled into the man's chest as he laid his head back, unattractively snoring. It was dark outside, a quick glance to the clock told her it was 2:49 am. What was he still doing here? It's not that she didn't like him... but she thought he'd see it as only a mission.
He had joined Dumbledore the year before. His family was threatened and he loved them too much to let them die. That was the first time she saw good in him.
She smiled at the sleeping pair. Both were ruffled up and yet they were stark differences. She had dark hair, dark eyes, tan skin, and was petite for a child of 5. He was tall, pale, pointy, and blonde.
There was no other person that could compare to Draco Malfoy.
Hermione smiled as Persephone burrowed deeper. Draco's eyes opened slowly. He combed his hair messily by putting his hand through it, released a lengthy yawn.
From his angle, Hermione looked asleep, and quite daunting. Whatever unblemished skin was left was pale as snow, while the rest of her was covered in purple and dark blue splotches.
She was very pretty. Her curls had spilled over the pillows, making her look like an angel.
He was ashamed of himself. He had tortured her so much and hurt her beyond comparison. No one deserved that. He looked down to her face, only to see her eyes wide open, staring into his.
"Hello, stranger," she said, her voice cracking. You could hear her pain in her voice. Persephone stirred a bit but went back to sleep. It had taken him hours to get her to sleep. And even then she wouldn't go to sleep till she was next to Hermione.
Draco took a deep breath, "I'm so sorry Granger…"
"Stop." She said. Her voice sounded pained, "Call me Hermione, please. If not for me, for Persephone's sake, I don't want her to be confused."
"Alright." He looked down at Persephone, moving her hair out of her face, he was ashamed, "I'm so sorry Hermione. I should have done something, arrived earlier, anything. I mean, look at you. You're in pain just because I…"
She shushed him. "It's not your fault. I shouldn't even have had to call you. But it doesn't matter now. As long as Persephone is safe… and she looks comfortable there." Hermione smiled. The little girl's curls were spilled everywhere, over the chair, over Draco's chest. She was safe. That was worth anything in the world. Hermione would gladly take a bullet for the little girl.
Draco chuckled; the little girl hadn't left him since he pulled her away from the Granger home. Every time he tried giving her to Molly, the little one just kept holding on tighter. She was a sweet little thing. She asked too many questions though. He guessed it ran in the family.
"She's a crazy little thing, isn't she?" He grinned towards Hermione. Persephone blinked her wide eyes awake. She abruptly stood up elbowing Draco in the stomach.
"Mione?" she said in a high pitched voice. She prepared to jump from Draco's lap onto the bed but Draco got hold of her in time. The little girl looked at him in bewilderment. How dare he not let her hug Hermione?
She looked back to Hermione. She hadn't noticed the bruises and scratches all over her sister's body. Persephone gasped and a lone tear fell from her face. She buried her head onto Hermione's hand, weeping. Hermione raised her other hand patting her sister's hair. They stayed like that for a while, Persephone hugging Hermione's hand. Too scared to let go but too afraid to hold on tighter in fear of hurting Hermione.
Molly came in and picked up Persephone. The little girl had cried so many tears. She was exhausted and posed no complaint in being taken away. Draco lifted Percee over the bed letting her kiss Hermione on the check before she left. The nurse came in and told Hermione to sleep. She needed her rest to heal. Hermione closed her eyes as the light scratching sound of a moving chair was noticeable. Draco had scooted closer to her. He laid his head back on the wall, falling asleep quickly, not really wanting to leave Hermione alone.
The sun rose in the morning and peeked through the curtains of the windows adjacent to the bed. Draco opened his eyes... He had fallen asleep awkwardly, half on the bed, half on the chair He was near something soft and warm. He turned his head and met the closed eyes and subdued beauty of Hermione Granger. He slowly stood up, his joints cracking, and walked outside to the fountain to get a drink of water, his mind was spinning.
Draco turned his head towards the pitter patter of little feet, running towards him. Little Percee was wide awake.
"Hello Draco," Persephone said warmly, "Is Mione better? Did the healers do a good job?"
"Yes, Yes, kiddo, relax. The healers did a pretty good job of healing her bones, there's just a little bit left for her to go through and she'll be back in your arms before you can say when."
It turns out he was wrong. Hermione stayed in the hospital for another two days, the internal bleeding was so severe she had to be treated for longer than the normal amount of time. She would become impatient. Mumbling to herself and Draco would stay next to her, if not for her sanity, then for his.
He smiled. They had become some kind of friends over those three days they spent together; each day spent waking up closer to each other than before. He looked at her and knew she would be ok. She was smart, brave, beautiful… and funny, too.
He grinned at one of the jokes as she moved her fingers in elaborate twirls, explaining one of her adventures as a child.
He knew she would be fine.
Though, he didn't realize he was slowly falling in love with her.
"Let's have a toast for the douchebags,
Let's have a toast for the assholes,
Let's have a toast for the scumbags,
Every one of them that I know
Let's have a toast to the jerkoffs
That'll never take work off
Baby, I got a plan
Run away fast as you can"
A.N. What do you think? I was inspired by "Runaway" by P!nk, "Runaway Love" by Ludacris and "Runaway" by Kanye. Should I make a sequel?